More than 81% of Americans, according to Pew Research, own cell phones. In 2020, a share of the world’s population had a smartphone penetration rate of 44.9%. This figure translates to 3.2 billion smartphone users worldwide. That mobile technology continues to transform numerous markets, including healthcare, is not surprising. Healthcare mobile technology encompasses more than simply mobile devices. It is larger and encompasses telemedicine, wearables, biometric sensors, cloud-based electronic health records (EHRs), and much more.
How Mobile Technology is Changing Healthcare
The application of mobile technology in the medical field has the power to save lives. Healthcare and mobile technologies are now intricately linked. Here are a few instances of how mobile medical technology is revolutionizing the healthcare industry.
Mobile technologies in healthcare: access to specialists
Emergency departments rarely have specialists on hand. They are typically on call and only contacted if a patient has symptoms or an injury that necessitates the services of a specialist. Unfortunately, it is possible for a life to be lost while waiting for a specialist to arrive at the emergency room. An attending physician can now connect with a specialist using mobile technologies in healthcare to gain immediate guidance on the best interventions to use to save the patient’s life.
The Situation with Peer-to-Peer Apps
Mobile Health Technologies and Medical History
The use of mobile technologies in healthcare, such as electronic health records and mobile health apps, gives emergency room doctors all the information they require about a patient. This quality is helpful if the patient is asleep or has an injury that makes communicating difficult.
Mobile technology-enabled value-based care models are anticipated to improve US healthcare outcomes. The US has the lowest health results among wealthy nations despite spending the most on healthcare. Six in ten Americans experience at least one chronic condition, and four in ten experience many chronic conditions.
Mobile technologies support value-based care models that result in savings from:
improved use of evidence-based decision-making, resulting in customized treatment plans
early identification, and aggressive risk factor management.
better chronic disease treatment and increased patient participation.
fewer tests and procedures that are duplicated or redundant.
reduced complications, shorter hospital stays, and improved care coordination.
where appropriate, employing walk-in clinics and remote care sites instead of emergency rooms and the optimal location for service delivery.
more generic medicine prescriptions, when appropriate.
standardizing healthcare and using Centers of Excellence to duplicate successes
Pay attention to social determinants of health
Social determinants of health are those aspects of people’s lives that have an impact on their health. Some of these factors include socioeconomic position, access to healthcare, transportation, neighborhood, physical environment, education, and social support systems. Effectively addressing the socioeconomic determinants of health is essential for enhancing health and reducing enduring disparities in access to healthcare.
(Kaiser Family Foundation, source of the image)
Governments all around the world are placing more emphasis on these problems, which has highlighted the contribution of mobile technologies to the improvement of some of these circumstances. For instance, telemedicine has enhanced access to healthcare. Additionally, people can now more easily access transportation to medical facilities thanks to innovations in other sectors of the economy, such as the online taxi industry.
Test on a Chip
Beyond biometric sensors, the processing power of smartphones enables the availability of a variety of lab tests in the palm of one’s hand. For instance, in the discipline of microfluidics, which involves the control and manipulation of fluids in geometrically limited spaces, they are currently being employed as detection and regulating instruments (picoliters). Using a customized smartphone equipped with biosensors and microprocessors, breath, sweat, tears, blood, urine, and saliva may all be “digitized” and examined for the presence of pathogens or diseases. In essence, Point of Care testing is made on a smartphone.
Healthcare uses costly handheld devices. At the same time, the price of smartphones with built-in health sensors is decreasing. Many people still find it to be overly expensive. The same is true for mobile health devices like wearables. About 4.5 billion people worldwide still lack access to smartphones, as was said in the introduction, and 20% of Americans still don’t own one.
Security and Privacy Issues
Patients, caregivers, and service providers must feel confident in the security of mobile health systems if the potential of these technologies is to be fully realized in the healthcare industry. Nobody wants their own or their patient’s private health information to end up in the wrong hands. The regulatory framework for mobile health is still behind technological advancements. In order to protect consumer data, regulators must step up their game.
Making sure that data is accessible to both consumers and providers is another significant barrier to the use of mobile technologies in healthcare. Mobile and electronic health applications can quickly overload data users and systems with the sheer volume of data they collect. Analytics tools must be created such that users only see information that may be used for action. More health metrics for patients are not a guarantee of successful outcomes, though. It can occasionally have unanticipated harmful effects. For instance, a randomized controlled trial to assess the effect of blood glucose self-monitoring on glycaemic management and psychological ratings in individuals with recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus discovered that self-monitoring was connected with higher scores on a depression subscale. Patients grew more depressed as they learned more about their elevated blood glucose levels.